Ohio’s Legislative Black Caucus is calling for the creation of a bipartisan committee to produce a comprehensive study on the contributions African Americans have made to Ohio and the way the state’s laws and policies have affected them.
Democratic Representative Stephanie Howse of Cleveland says the legislature needs a study like this. “It will provide an opportunity for people to have some understanding and even put in a lens of empathy.”
Howse is an African American lawmaker who recently was at odds with House Speaker Ryan Smith over the impact of race in the so called “Stand Your Ground” bill. She says lawmakers often don’t understand issues from an African American point of view. Sponsors know the bill isn’t going to get through the lame duck session of the legislature so they say it will be re-introduced after the first of the year after the new General Assembly is seated.